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Thursday, February 13, 2014

The resilience of Childhood

As I have thought about recent posts and the perceptive negative nature of my blog up to this point I felt the need to focus a post specifically on the many joys of my youth.

I have termed this the resilience of childhood, because despite the many down sides to my youth I think often on the memories and the overall comparison between good and bad memories.  I believe that children have the innate ability to see the good in the things around them and to overlook the bad.

I will attempt to describe this through the memories of my youth. 

I will start in Taylorsville Utah where a number of bad things were going on in my life.  I was abused regularly both sexually and physically.  We struggled with a number of issues including regular visits from social services, and threats of being removed from our home.  Some of our greatest years of minimal financial resources, and other struggles also happened during these years.

During this time I have some of my most wonderful memories.  We had chickens, ducks, a few peacocks, horses, goats, dogs and cats.  I remember strong memories of going to the fair and spending time walking around and being amazed at the things people could grow and raise.  I remember Saturday morning cartoons, digging forts, hanging out in tree houses, visiting friends, sledding in the winter, and riding skateboards in the summer.  And a thousand more memories I don't have time to describe here....

The point of all this is that I believe for almost all children the good things (in their minds) outweigh the bad by an extreme margin.  I know I have been classified (rightly so) as a pretty extreme optimist.  And so perhaps this is only my view of the world.  That being said I have rarely seen a child that is not happy most of the time, regardless of the circumstances they find themselves in.  I believe our minds from birth are programmed (for lack of a better word) to see the good around us.  To see the rainbows and butterflies, the clouds and rocks and so many things we start to take for granted as we get older and let the busyness of life take us away from the joys we used to cherish. 

We take too much time looking for how to resolve a conflict, or how to get to the next promotion, how to teach our children the next thing that will make them look brighter than the Jones' down the street.  Sometimes we get carried away in greed, or pride, or other selfishness that takes the focus we used to have on so much beauty and happiness, and turns it into something self serving.

This is part of the reason why I believe Heavenly father instructs us to be as little children. 

Can we let go of the struggles we face and become like a child?  Can we put aside the things that drag us down in daily life, and still accomplish the needs we should care for as adults?  I argue that we can... 

Little children are resilient, they are quick to forgive, they are quick to learn, and they are willing to change.

I write many things about the struggles of my youth in order to hopefully help others.  To allow people to realize that they are not alone in suffering, nor are they as trapped as they may feel.  I hope they will be able to come to have joy like I have found, and better their lives.  These are not easy transitions to make and to many may seem impossible.  On our own some of them are impossible to overcome...  I believe others will be able to turn their situations into such that they can find great joy in this life and for all I pray they will find joy that goes far beyond this life. 

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